The percentage of household waste sent for recycling and re-use in Brighton & Hove has increased for the first time in four years.
Results for the first quarter of 2016/17 show that the percentage of household waste sent for recycling, re-use or composting rose to 26.9% from 24.6% in 2015/16. In the first quarter of 2015/16 the percentage was 25.5%.
The amount of litter on the city’s streets has also improved with 96% of streets in April to June either having no litter or refuse or being mostly free of it except for some small items. This compares with 92% of streets for the same period last year.
Councillor Gill Mitchell, chair of the environment, transport and sustainability committee, said: “We know we have a way to go to improve recycling rates in the city and we’ve set ourselves a target of 35%, but this is an encouraging sign. We intend to build on this result and the services we are now providing will help people to recycle more.
“Thanks to the hard the hard work of our street cleansing staff and supporting initiatives to tackle litter, we have also seen improvements in the street scene with fewer heavily littered streets.”
Brighton & Hove City Council has introduced a number of new services in recent months. Garden waste collections began earlier this year, as did the new textiles recycling scheme which donates a percentage of income to grant-funded community groups.
There are plans to roll out the successful wheelie bin recycling offer to suitable residential areas, and the council now has a commercial waste collections service available for local businesses – said a council spokesperson.
This autumn the council introduced four new multi-functional all-season machines that enables the street cleansing teams to clean the city’s pavements faster and with greater frequency, as well as 100 solar-powered ‘big belly’ bins, which can swallow up to eight times more waste than a normal bin.
The teams have also introduced a better method of recording flytipping and this year Brighton and Hove won the ‘Best Service Team for Street Cleansing’ in the annual Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE) awards.
A new litter enforcement contract came into operation in April which is being developed to encourage long-term behaviour change around flytipping and littering.
Improvements to come include recycling of street sweeper waste, textile recycling banks for schools, CCTV to tackle flytipping hot spots and a new pavement cleaning machine.